100 & Single: Answering Questions On Adam Lambert's Historic Chart-Topping Album

Categories: Adam Lambert

I've never been happier to be wrong about something. Two weeks ago, the last line of my column read: "Probably won't happen. But wouldn't it be fun if it did?"

The event I didn't think could happen was Adam Lambert scoring a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 album chart with his second disc, Trespassing. But I sure was wrong, and it sure is fun: By reaching the penthouse, Adam becomes the first out gay artist to have the best-selling album in America. Trespassing did this by selling roughly 77,000 albums last week.

What my early-May column revealed was that every prior well-known gay musician to top the big chart—Elton John, Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Ricky Martin and Clay Aiken, among others—only came out of the closet later. Since I chronicled this odd statistic, I've been (happily) inundated with comments, challenges, debates, rejoinders, retweets and attaboys. And questions—lots of questions.

Since this has been my most-read and most-commented chart column by far, I thought I might address a few of these questions, as best as I can. Some of the most heated questions I received regard issues better addressed by cultural critics like Camille Paglia or Wayne Koestenbaum, not some lowly chart columnist; but I'll do my best to wade into them.

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12 For '12: A Dozen Songs From This Year That You Should Hear Right Now

Evans The Death.
In this week's Voice I offered up a midseason report of sorts, listing 12 particularly outstanding tracks from this year. Here, for your listening pleasure, are the 12 songs in streamable form (via a combination of YouTube and Soundcloud so as to not lock anyone—or any songs—out). Happy listening, and if you'd like to share a 2012 song that's particularly tickled your ears, by all means do so in the comments.

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Q&A: Adam Lambert On Trespassing, Stankface, Tracking Nile Rodgers On Twitter, And Being An Out Pop Star In 2012

When Adam Lambert was on American Idol in 2009, he grabbed viewers' attention with his octave-leaping voice and startling reworkings of talent-show standbys—while he came in second that season, he was certainly that year's most rock-star-like contestant, and he made even more headlines when he came out of the closet on the cover of Rolling Stone shortly after the Idol season wrapped. Today he releases Trespassing (RCA), his second post-Idol album, and its confidence and catchiness should further establish him as one of today's premier male pop stars. Trespassing, which counts among its collaborators Pharrell, Sam Sparro, Chic's Nile Rogers, and Dr. Luke, struts; it brims with grooves and is led by Lambert's overwhelming charisma, and it could very well be the first No. 1 album by an out pop star, as Chris Molanphy noted last week.

SOTC caught up with Lambert yesterday before he performed a brief set at the MLB Fan Cave, located in the former Tower Records space at East 4th St. and Broadway.

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100 & Single: Buy An Adam Lambert Album, Strike A Tiny Blow For Gay Rights

About a year ago, the movie Bridesmaids opened in the U.S. and was the subject of a rather unusual awareness campaign.

Female movie fans, largely independently of the film's producers, compelled women to go see the film in its opening weekend and defy common Hollywood wisdom that non-rom-com movies aimed at ladies were box-office laggards. To many cultural critics, it was a dubious effort: a Judd Apatow-produced flick that was still, after all, about a wedding—and with one notorious scene riddled with bodily humiliations—this was a feminist cause célèbre?

The thing is, it kinda worked. Bridesmaids opened very well for a "chick flick," with $26 million in ticket sales, and went on to gross just shy of $170 million domestically, soundly beating such summer tentpoles as Green Lantern and X-Men: First Class. The fact that the star-free, Kristin Wiig-led movie was actually good suggests it would've found its audience under any circumstances. We'll never know, but given Hollywood's ever-increasing promotional emphasis on opening weekends, it's totally defensible that the impassioned grass-roots launch was critical to the movie's ultimate success. It also sent a consumer-driven message ("This half of the population shouldn't be ignored or pandered to") that should've been screamingly obvious in 2011 but somehow wasn't.

One year later, I'd like to invite you to get behind another consumerist message that, in 2012, should be equally uncontroversial: Being openly gay shouldn't prevent you from having a No. 1 album in the United States.

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